Retail Scene: Highlights of the JDA Focus Conference

A highly energized group of retail executives and technology innovators gathered last week at Focus 2009, held from April 26-28 at the Gaylord National Resort in National Harbor, Maryland. JDA Software's 19th annual user conference featured more than 130 sessions geared around the theme, "Challenges. Opportunities. Results. Excellence."

The event kicked off with a "State of the Company" address led by Hamish Brewer, CEO of JDA. Brewer noted that JDA posted a record year in 2008 and would continue to invest in integrated solutions. Some of the biggest projects underway at JDA include a replenishment workbench and an assortment manager that ties together planning analysis, data management, price and promotion management as well as advanced optimization and demand management. Beyond these major initiatives, Brewer says that the company's number one strategic initiative is managed services for its 5,700 customers across the globe.

Sam Donaldson, 48-year ABC News veteran, followed Brewer's address by stating, "It's not morning in America, it's pretty grim in fact." Donaldson provided his perspective on the state of the economy and advised that if businesses choose not to support the government and rally behind the Obama administration, they will fail.

Following the keynote, attendees had the option to sit in on dynamic presentations from prominent retailers including Macy's, Dollar Tree Stores, IKEA, Liz Claiborne, Lowe's, Meijer and many others. An Innovation Zone provided an ideal setting for networking and brought together more than three dozen technology providers including RPE, Capgemini, Hewlett-Packard and IBM.

An exciting evening reception unveiled the 2009 Real Results Award winners. Retailers that were honored in this year's ceremony included Phillips-Van Heusen for "Best in Replenishment/Allocation," and Buehler's Fresh Foods for "Best in Store Systems/Workforce Management."

JDA Focus 2010 will be held May 16-19 at the Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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